John Goodman Talks About His Battle With Alcoholism

John Goodman says he was lucky his alcoholism never got him fired.

Opening up about his battle with alcoholism while doing press for his new movie, Flight, John Goodman said there was a point in his life where he was so dependent on drinking that he couldn’t make it through a show without alcohol, MovieFone reported.

In Flight, released on Friday, John Goodman plays the friend and drug dealer of Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington), an airline pilot embroiled in a scandal over his alcoholism. The struggle Whitaker faces throughout the movie is familiar to his own, Goodman said.

“I’d have the shakes so bad I’d have to have a drink to get through [a] show. I’m lucky I never got fired,” Goodman told New York. “It was terrible for my family… If I’d picture in my mind a drink — usually straight out of the ­bottle — I couldn’t not do it.”


John Goodman has been sober since 2007 and said he tried to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings each morning, but is solid enough to make light of his situation. Talking with Denzel Washington on Moviefone’s Unscripted, he made an alcohol-related joke.

“When I am acting, I try and take 40 breaths before every take,” Washington said. “I just like that number, 40. Ali Babba and the 40 Thieves, rained for 40 days and 40 nights …” to which Goodman jokingly added “40 ounces,” a statement that got a hearty laugh out of everyone on set.

John Goodman has made a comeback of sorts in the last few months. His role in Flight has earned him acclaim, as has his role in Argo, which is earning strong Oscar buzz.